Christchurch mother of five, Melanie Riwai-Couch, presented recently at a conference about her experience of the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes.
More than 15,000 people attended the 2012 BYU Women's Conference that was sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
Riwai-Couch (pictured here with two fellow presenters) helped to coordinate earthquake relief work on behalf of The Church of Jesus Christ, including provision of more than 25,000 lunches for Linwood College students while they were site-sharing at Cashmere High School.
Riwai-Couch shared her own personal experience as a mother, as well as words of gratitude about the charity that had been shown to her and others following the earthquakes.
"Every person in Christchurch remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing when each of the larger earthquakes have struck,” she said. “While the whole experience has been very distressing, from these beautiful heartbreaks we gain opportunities to serve others and to accept service when we need it."
A short documentary about women in Christchurch following the earthquakes was also shown featuring the Mayoress Joanna Nicholls-Parker, Member of Parliament Nicky Wagner and CTV building survivor Liz Cammock.
The presentation was the grand finale of the conference and received a moving standing ovation that lasted several minutes.